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Friends of the Phillipsburg Free Public Library » Community, Diversity, Outreach, Public Relations, Web Info » Did You Know — The African Americans who were awarded Nobel Prizes?

Did You Know — The African Americans who were awarded Nobel Prizes?

The Nobel Prize is an annual, international prize first awarded in 1901 for achievements in PhysicsChemistryPhysiology or MedicineLiterature, and Peace. An associated prize in Economics has been awarded since 1969.[1] Nobel Prizes have been awarded to over 800 individuals.[2]

Blacks have received awards in three of six award categories: eleven in Peace, three in Literature, and one in Economics. The first black recipient, American Ralph Bunche, was awarded the Peace Prize in 1950. The most recent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, were awarded their Peace prizes in 2011.

Three black laureates —Anwar SadatBarack Obama and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf— were presidents of their countries when they were awarded the prize. As of 2015, 15 Nobel Prize winners have been Blacks.

Those awarded the Nobel Peace Prize were: Ralph Bunche, Inkosi Albert John Luthuli, Martin Luther King Jr., Anwar El Sadat, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Wangari Maathi, Barack Obama, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Leymah Gbowee.

Those awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature were: Wole Soyinka of Nigeria, Derek Walcott of St. Lucia and the United States, and Toni Morrison of the United States. Sir William Arthur Lewis is the only black to have received a Nobel Prize in Economics.

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